Frustration mounts as power outages linger
poweroutages300.jpg

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The lights are still out in parts of our area two days after Hurricane Irene swept past the Cape Fear coast. Those without generators are beginning to get frustrated, as temperatures and tempers continue to rise.

"Because it is summer time in the South," Matthew Jewell said. "It's hot, man. We are all pretty ready, just like everybody else, ready to get their power turned back on."

People, like Jewell, who live off North 21st Street near Princess Place Drive in Wilmington are no strangers to power outages. Residents say lights flicker after many storms, but to be without power for more than 60 hours is uncommon.

Folks without power are starting to worry about their pets and young children in this heat.

"We have a young baby. She's 9 months old, and so we're trying to make sure she's OK," Ryan McDonnell said. "Being in this heat all day long is rough on her."

No power also means no refrigerator, which means tainted food.

"I have all ideas that everything is spoiled in the refrigerator and freezer," Jewell said. "We really haven't looked at that yet, but we'll deal with that when the time comes."

McDonnell said, "We've got baby food in the freezer. Baby food is melting. Trying to keep her milk cold when my wife is at work has been tough."

Progress Energy was working on getting the power fixed in that area this afternoon, and officials from the power company say that there are still 1,500 customers without power in New Hanover County. That number is dwindling since Saturday, when nearly 50,000 in the county were without power.

Even though that is an improvement, folks on North 21st Street just want life to go back to normal.

"I'm just looking for a good, solid night sleep," McDonnell said. "That would solve everything for me right now. One cold night. That would fix it."

Progress Energy says Pender County has almost 1,100 customers without power. Brunswick County is down to about 200 in the dark.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

I LIVE IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF NH COUNTY, ABOUT 3 MILES SOUTH OF MONKEY JUNCTION. THE TV (STATION) WAS OFF FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES FRIDAY EVENING. IT CAME BACK ON, BUT WE NEVER LOST POWER. ALSO COOK WITH GAS. BATH TUB FULL OF WATER. WE WERE VERY LUCKY.

I feel for those still w/o power. But the crews are working as hard as they can, I know that because my husband is retired from this profession. It's not as easy as flipping a switch, and these guys are working very long hours. And your neighbors power may come on before yours...it's all in the power gridwork. Be patient.
As far as the heat, I was born and raised here, no A/c when I was growing up, we survived. Open the windows! As far as the baby food and milk, just get powdered milk for now, and jars of baby food, they don't have to be refrigerated. Go out and clean up your yard instead of sitting inside whinning.

I was born and raised here too and had absolutely no A/C growing up. We survived, but it was miserable. When you're used to A/C and try to go back to not having it, it's awful!

If you live in a brick house and there's no breeze, it doesn't matter if you open the windows. It's like being baked inside an oven.

I like your idea for the baby food and powdered milk. Good advice!

As far as going out and cleaning up my yard, I'm physically unable to do it because of numerous health problems. Please remember, not everyone is as fortunate (or as healthy) as you.

I lived on Princess Place Drive from 1959 to 1966. We never had air condition in our house or in school. You slept with a window fan ! You sweated so much in school that your arms stuck to the desk. We also went threw several hurricanes !!

I wonder how people survived before electricity and air conditioning.

I can tell you....miserably.

(1)I can remember trying to keep my attention on my schoolwork, but it was impossible because it was so hot!
(2) Sleep was out of the question until you were absolutely exhausted.
(3) You never had any energy to do anything.
(4) Everyone was short tempered
(5) If you lived in a brick house, forget it..it's like baking in an oven

I think you can figure out for yourself what it's like without electricity. Just a week without it and people's tempers are sky high.

Survive? Yes. Miserable? YES!

dude, really, your food's going bad because you can't get off your butt and drop $2.50 on a 10 lb. bag of ice? One bag will keep your stuff cold for days. Ain't you got the sense your mama gave you??

It's best to be supplied by an electric cooperative. Their linemen attack an outage like SEAL Team Six and they don't seem to sleep either.

Boys and girls, can you spell G-E-N-E-R-A-T-O-R? Bet some of these crying the blues because thay spent a couple hot nights will spring for one now. A 3500 watt will easily run a medium sized window AC or a freezer and fridge and lights. They're inexpesive and last a long time when cared for properly.

Inexpensive? Maybe to you. I have power myself, but I feel for those who do not. A lot of those people are elderly, sick, disabled, and on fixed incomes. They don't have money for extras. The folks I know wouldn't even know how to use one if they had one. They would probably burn their house down.

Not everyone is as fortunate as you.

I grew up in that neighborhood and I went through both Bertha and Fran while living there and will say that your story comes as no surprise. Both when Fran and Bertha hit, we were without power for 2 weeks. It was miserable. We were the last in the City of Wilmington to get our power back. Perhaps the lines and transformers in that area need to be replaced. If you are living there I feel for you. But it is common for that neighborhood to be the last in Wilmington to get power.

was without power and water for 84 days after Hurricane Fran.

Generators are not that expensive if not bought just before or after a hurricane. Harris Teeter was giving away ice.

There was sufficient warning for anyone to prepare. And living in this area, one should consider a generator, or 2, a necessity.

Of course, one could always turn to our Hurricane Governor. She was choppering all over the place yesterday.